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Full text of "A history of Persia"

DISASTROUS CAMPAIGNS             415
up a square foot of the territories ceded to Russia, he
proposed an alliance against Turkey. Further demands
were for the passage through Astrabad and Khorasan of
a Russian army destined to invade Khiva, and for the
establishment of a Russian agent at Resht. All these
proposals, together with an offer to supply Russian officers
to train the Persian army, were politely refused, and the
Russian envoy, after being magnificently entertained, left
Teheran loaded with gifts.
Afghan Campaigns, 1805 and 1817-1818.óWe must
now return for a short while to Afghanistan. In A.H.
1222 (1805) the erstwhile refugee Firuz Mirza, who
was Governor of Herat, attempted to capture Ghorian, a
fortress on the frontier which had remained in Persian
hands. He was defeated and, being followed up to the
gates of Herat, agreed to pay to Persia arrears of tribute
for two years and to give his son as a hostage for his good
faith. Twelve years later, in 1817, Hasan Ali Mirza, a
son of Fath Ali Shah, marched to Herat to punish a
further attack on Ghorian. Again Firuz Mirza bought
off the invaders by a payment of fifty thousand tomans
and by ordering the public prayers to be read and the
coinage to be stamped in the name of Fath Ali Shah.
After the departure of the Persian army he was alarmed
at the possible consequences of his acts and asked for
military assistance from Kabul. Mahmud Shah, who had
been released from prison, and had driven Shah Shuja into
exile at Ludhiana, was the nominal Amir of Afghanistan,
but Fatteh Khan Barakzai, his Vizier, was all-powerful,
and at his instance Firuz Mirza was treacherously seized
and deported to Kabul. The chiefs of Khorasan were
then incited to rise against the Shah, and the Khan of
Khiva was persuaded to invade the province in the
interests of Afghanistan.
Hasan Ali Mirza met this critical situation with
firmness. In 1818 he attacked Fatteh Khan, who was
defeated and wounded. Shortly afterwards Fath Ali Shah
reached the theatre of war with a large force and Mahmud
Shah purchased immunity from invasion by agreeing to
blind his Vizier, who was afterwards barbarously executed.